Challenges of life

Into the swing of 2019 ūüôā

Started the year with some goals to aim for, with a plan to stay calm so

you could work steadily towards what you wished to achieve…?

 

money101.co.za

Past week 3

and already having feelings which overwhelm??

 

Those challenges you could forget for some time, with festive food and cheer to distract you, are now a firm reality. The carefree December days of frivolity have dropped into the cold, short, debt ridden days of January and seem to stretch far into the coming months.

Hence talk today of #BlueMonday¬†–¬†I wont¬†spell¬†it out as some may feel it’s too negative to focus on!

Don’t despair… It’s difficult to find the enthusiasm and motivation when life is feeling like this but it will get brighter.¬†

 

Focus instead on small steps to feel more positive:-

– Eat nutritious meals when you can to boost your energy levels.

– Make time to get outside and connect with nature, to boost mood.

 РPlan social meet ups for a cuppa at home and a chat, if money is tight,   or incorporate a catch up with a dog walk or getting out in the           countryside.

РWrap up warm and nurture yourself Рconsider the art of hygge for  the winter months.

– Practice gratitude and start writing a journal as you go to bed, to build your skills.

– Talk to yourself kindly and focus on some positive affirmations.

 

Don’t try to achieve too much it is the winter after all and many creatures hunker down in the colder months and save their energy until the spring. Do what you have to but take it steady.

Don’t be too hard on yourself!

 

It’s more challenging to keep focused and upbeat when the reality of daily life seems relentless, but find the moments of peace…

In time consider possible plans for the summer so you have events or holiday time to look forward to…

Jo Copland-Dando is an Integrated Hypnotherapist and Coach with a background in Health. She works on many issues of well being from a purpose built, safe and confidential space. As a specialist is Anxiety,  she works with AnxietyUk to support clients.

 

Advertisements

Stress – mind & body links!

stress-1024x536

We have known for some time the affects that emotional stress has on the body. Particularly the increased risk of cardio vascular disease, this includes high blood pressure, and the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Some of this can be due to negative coping mechanisms – such as smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol…

but more recently a direct link between the psychological processes and how this impacts our health has been identified.

Research has found a link between our emotions and heightened activity in the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain which processes emotions such as fear and anger.

By measuring activity in this part of the brain, using CT scans, and measuring the levels of inflammation in the arteries, heightened activity was identified. By following up participants over several years, following a period of perceived stress, the researchers were able to show an association between the likelihood of a cardiac event and increased stress.

They also showed that higher levels of activity in the amygdala were associated with the occurrence of cardiac events sooner.

Further studies have added weight to these findings. Participants stress levels were significantly associated with activity in the amygdala and arterial inflammation.

Keeping your stress levels in perspective are more important than ever.

Look after yourself by:-

  1. Recognizing stress within yourself

  2. Journal your thoughts and feelings – reducing mental stresses and observe your growth

  3. Practice meditation, mindfulness or self hypnosis

  4. Increase physical activity levels to maintain body wellbeing

  5. Eat as healthily as you can

  6. Nurture sleep

  7. Connect with others and communicate your challenges                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 stressed-desserts

  8. At times this may be challenging and we may reach for the very things which worsen our health!?

  9. In which case seek support. As a Hypnotherapist I support clients to make changes, which over time helps to improve their well being, particularly emotionally.
  10. This may be something you would consider to help you take the first small steps of change?
  11. Jo Copland-Dando is an Integrated Hypnotherapist with a background in Health. She works from a purpose built, safe and confidential space and specialises in Anxiety, working with AnxietyUk to support clients.

Improving health by writing!

writing-1209121_960_720

We all have heard a problem shared is a problem halved…

but what if no friends are available and you need to express yourself?

Writing down your thoughts to express your concerns, worries and connect with your feelings may be an option.

Writing can give many therapeutic benefits:-

  • help to calm your mind by giving you a focus

  • document a journey

  • help to express feelings and release emotions

  • help to reduce worry

  • assist in processing difficult situations

  • create a sense of direction

  • help to formulate some goals

  • give a sense of achievement

  • improve sleep

 

Writing can take many forms:-

journaling

documenting, to help process your thoughts

a letter to yourself or others (best not to send, but can help to clarify your feelings)

blogging

free writing

a gratitude diary

list making

doodling

 

There is a body of evidence developing which indicates that if you write a list of specific tasks you need to do for the next day, as you go to bed, it helps reduce rumination (repetitive thoughts). This reduces the time you take to go to sleep.

Better sleep helps the processing of challenges in your life and improves well being.

 

Pick up a pen!

 

Exam stress!!

 

exam-revision

Its that time of year again!!

Teenagers all over the country are beginning to feel the pressure…

poor motivation?

dis-organisation?

apathy?

erratic moods?

impending sense of panic?

anxiety?

As parents of a possibly uncommunicative, yet stressed teenager, where the young person may have great difficulty expressing their concerns, can be a challenging time for the whole family.

Knowing where to go to seek support can be tricky!

If the teenager is demonstrating anxiety and depression symptoms, where they appear to be not coping with erratic emotions, have significant changes in eating and sleeping habits or are expressing feelings of low mood, particularly suicidal thoughts, then a Gp consultation is necessary.

For many teenagers it can be much more subtle than this and who may improve the situation can be less obvious.

The schools and colleges are getting better at offering sessions on tips and strategies which enhance the students planning for revision, so they feel better prepared and more able to cope with the pressures.

Encourage the teenager to access support at school with lunch time and after school sessions and talk to their teacher about difficulties they are having.

With the multiple demands on teenagers this preparation is getting harder to focus on.

It relies on the teenager not being too hormonal, influenced by their peers (which has long been the case), but magnified by the massive influence from social media.

This constant distraction of messages, apps and the internet is pervasive and often difficult to manage alongside their rapidly developing brains. As many study skills need to be accessed on line it is increasingly difficult to avoid the pull of the internet.

Personal discipline is crucial and the challenges many:-

  • addiction to social networking and the phone constantly in the hand
  • a fear of failure making even starting to think about study difficult
  • performance anxiety making focusing a challenge
  • a lack of engagement with their studies
  • no clear sense of direction

Accessing resources to improve the teenagers ability to remain calm, focus and commit to performing in the way that does them justice is hugely beneficial.

A session or 2 with a Hypnotherapist who can offer NLP techniques to promote these skills, either with or without hypnosis, can help the teenager to set the intention and take the steps towards achieving their goals.

Contact me if you want to explore this conversation further.

Sometimes recognising what is happening for the student is the first step.

 

Stress – mind & body links!

stress-1024x536

We have known for some time the affects that emotional stress has on the body. Particularly the increased risk of cardio vascular disease, this includes high blood pressure, and the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Some of this can be due to negative coping mechanisms – such as smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol…

but more recently a direct link between the psychological processes and how this impacts our health has been identified.

Research has found a link between our emotions and heightened activity in the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain which processes emotions such as fear and anger.

By measuring activity in this part of the brain, using CT scans, and measuring the levels of inflammation in the arteries, heightened activity was identified. By following up participants over several years, following a period of perceived stress, the researchers were able to show an association between the likelihood of a cardiac event and increased stress.

They also showed that higher levels of activity in the amygdala were associated with the occurrence of cardiac events sooner.

Further studies have added weight to these findings. Participants stress levels were significantly associated with activity in the amygdala and arterial inflammation.

Keeping your stress levels in perspective are more important than ever.

Look after yourself by:-

  1. Recognising stress within yourself

  2. Journal your thoughts and feelings – reducing mental stresses and observe your growth

  3. Practice meditation, mindfulness or self hypnosis

  4. Increase physical activity levels to maintain body wellbeing

  5. Eat as healthily as you can

  6. Nuture sleep

  7. Connect with others and communicate your challenges                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 stressed-desserts

    At times this may be challenging and we may reach for the very things which worsen our health!?

    In which case seek support. As a Hypnotherapist I support clients to make changes which over time helps to improve their well being, particularly emotionally.

     

                                                                                                                                                                                          Jo Copland-Dando is an Integrated Hypnotherapist with a background in Health. She works from a purpose built, safe and confidential space and specialises in Anxiety, working with AnxietyUk to support clients.

Music’s stress relieving benefits.

‚ÄúMusic can change the way you breathe, so it can help your brain calm down‚ÄĚ, says Dr. Gail Gross a nationally recognized expert, author, and educator on relationships, family development, education and behavior. Dr. Gross along with others notes the importance of having a great musical selection and conscious listening. Lets face it, for hundreds¬†[‚Ķ]

via Music Does The Body Good! ‚ÄĒ Mental Health is Everywhere

Menopause

images (3)

I never considered myself a hormonal person and yet on turning 40, after a period of sustained stress and ill health, I developed over the following years many of the symptoms on the list above.

Prior to being diagnosed as coeliac, in my late 30’s, I had always been healthy and relatively stable in attitude – how was I now on this emotional rollercoaster?

I had experienced anxiety during my relationship breakdown and was unsettled to find similar symptoms had become a bit of a feature in this new stage of life. It seemed to take so much of my energy to manage my feelings so I could to try to continue to function as normally as possible.

Have you experienced similar symptoms, feelings or challenges?

In a busy stage of life with fairly young children, I initially put the tiredness, poor memory and anxious thoughts down to the juggling challenges of parenthood, particularly as a single parent.

I spent months trying establish what was happening within my body to cause me to feel like I did…

With increased night sweats and mood swings I tried all kinds of dietary and alternative supplements, spoke to friends, colleagues, read, googled and sought support from my Gp. After some blood tests I was a bit shocked, but relieved, to be diagnosed as peri menopausal.

What was this! Further investigations followed…

The concept was okay, I’d had my children, though this took a bit of getting used to, but the symptons were much more tricky!

Heading into the menopause early, I was really unprepared! Why were these feelings and thoughts so pervasive after sailing relatively unscathed through puberty and into adulthood?

After a year or so of struggling with a variety of symptoms, despite experimenting with many products including soya, rich in isoflavones, black cohosh and evening primrose oil all resulting in little relief I returned yet again to my sympathetic female Gp. With teenagehood looming, and my increased irritability I was rapidly running out of options she seriously discussed HRT. Being a long way off fifty she explained the benefits outweighed the negatives as these were hormones my body should still ideally have. Trying a couple of different brands and doses finally found the combination which improved many of my symptoms.

Continuing on HRT today, anxiety is the main one which continues to raise its head from time to time!

When you don’t have anxiety you can’t imagine what it is like so I’d have weeks of being okay and in between bouts it seems irrational and unbelievable it is so debilitating. So you push on…

I have since read much around anxiety, the menopause, coeliac disease, the human brain and hormones, whilst the challenges continue.

The role of hormones and the fine balance between these are well demonstrated as below.

20d5161a33b4321e716f2991c29ee018

With several factors unbalancing your health, it makes sense it will take some time to even begin to restore some normality. This model helps explain the complexity and the delicate balancing interplay of several feel good chemicals which affect your mood.

I’ve found trying to understand what is happening in my body and mind has helped me to manage symptoms over time. However self acceptance has been one of the biggest challenges which still continues to this day.

More recently I have not only read about the positives of exercise but also the need to find new directions, develop skills and find purpose as a woman moving into her fifties.

Certainly for me this is the time of finding fewer or no children at home, after being such a focus for many years. This may have been both demanding, yet fun, but requires great adjustment to find the ‘new you’ as you make potentially huge changes to your lifestyle. This stage brings adaptions psychologically & emotionally and can leave you feeling again overwhelmed and anxious about future directions.

Talking to someone to find a way forward can be invaluable at this time. Helping you to take stock of where you are and what you want, can help you to set a new direction, and identify manageable steps. Enabling you to move towards a new phase of life which can be liberating.

Take that first step today!!

 

Jo Copland-Dando is an Integrated Hypnotherapist and Coach with a background in Health. She works on many issues affecting well being. As a specialist in Anxiety,  she works with AnxietyUk to support clients. In a quiet space she supports clients from a purpose built, safe and confidential garden room, situated between Bath and Bristol.